Friday, November 16, 2012

At 3am, God is the Difference

You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.

Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD GOD is an everlasting rock. (Isaiah 26:3)

Over four months ago I remember we had just gotten home from our first stay in the hospital. Everyone was home and my Aunt Margarita and Uncle Wayne were with us as well. Esther had been home a day and it was Sunday. Let's have Robin (Sam's sister) and Casey and the kids over and have a nice barbecue together! Instead, we were about to experience our first trip to the ER that evening. Esther's temp started rising and we started panicking and getting anxious and packing bags. We did not expect it that quickly. We went to our local Fort Collins hospital ER but Sam and Esther ended up having to take an ambulance down to Children's in Denver after sitting in the ER for 6 hours anyway. It was stressful, tiring, and scary. The biggest thing I remember thinking was: "Is this how the next couple months are going to be? If so, this is going to be hell."

The last few months have included an ER visit after every chemo round except for the third and each stay has been at least 3-4 days long with the last one being a record 9 days long.

But it has not been hell. It has not been easy or fun but certainly not as scary and hellish as I imagined it, even in some of the worst of it. I was reflecting on this a bit last night. Sam and I were talking about our days and we were discussing how so many things that used to burdensome to us now just seem like nothing worth fretting over. Our hope is that those things would stay that way even after we eventually come out of this season. We talked about how this season with Esther has put things in perspective. However, I reflected that I felt it was more than that. I feel like the difference in the little burdens and the big burdens has not merely been perspective but that God's peace has been so much more present in our lives. His peace in us has increased. We've seen it in Esther too. She simply does not know the meaning of the word despair. It's a foreign concept to her. At times she has felt weary and sad but never despair. Her trust and courage have been convicting. That discussion was around 9pm.

Fast forward to 2:30am. Esther gets up to go potty and I can tell she's feeling cruddy. I check her temperature. 100.5. Please, no. I spend the next 15 minutes talking to Sam and praying in my head that God would enable her to make it until the morning. But we both know what's coming. At 3am, her temperature hits the magic 101. Time to go. Up to that instant I was simply fighting it. But at that moment, I just had a peace and I was strangely excited to drive down to Children's with my daughter. I got dressed while Sam got Esther going and then we started the drive down. Esther was very chatty and we listened to her favorite VBS songs about 2 times through before she fell back asleep.

It was such a peaceful and enjoyable drive. No dread. No anxiety. I had been wishing for different circumstances but I would do that drive all over again in a heartbeat. We ended up being in the ER until past 8am this morning and we were both a bit grumpy this morning after a 5am nap but I would never want that time in the car with her and Jesus and at the ER taken away.

The difference in the circumstances is God. It's so weird and hard to explain but I feel like I barely understood what faith was before this or the depth that his peace could go. This has been the hardest thing for Sam and I that we've even experienced and the next few months are likely to get more difficult and more intense, but I am so grateful for seeing more of my God. His tender and calming hand has never been more apparent. It doesn't mean this isn't hard. But his peace is greater.

Esther is neutropenic right now and has an elevated heart rate but has had no more fevers and her stool and X-ray on her abdomen showed no problems. She appeared to be getting a cold last night but today the runny nose went away and she just had a bit of a sore throat. She has complained of a little bit of stomach pain but she's been a toot machine all day so I wonder if it's gas if everything else has checked out. They're mainly focusing on pinning down what is giving her the elevated heart rate. She's also been a bit dehydrated. But she has been in good spirits and took a good nap and feel asleep in about 2 seconds tonight. Pray for her counts to come up quickly and for nothing to spread in her system while her counts are down. Pray for her heart rate to come down. But, again, we're encouraged and we had a pretty enjoyable day. His peace is greater.

What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?

He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? (Romans 8:31-32)



  1. Thanks for sharing this Anthony. Great post. It is neat to hear how you are experiencing God's blessing and pleasure through all of this. Peace that surpasses understanding, indeed. Praying for you guys.

  2. Wow. Just wow! How amazing is it that God has softened all your guys' hearts so that He teaches you this incredible lesson! :O That is really cool and I am glad Esther is back home now :)